Thursday, December 29, 2011

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's back to work I go . . .

The last couple of years have been good for me in many respects.  Since the closing of Crossroads Books & Gifts in August of '09, I've had the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to do some freelance writing for several faith-based publications.  It's been fun and rewarding  . . . well, maybe not all that financially rewarding but rewarding, none-the-less.  It's been a season of life for which I'm very thankful.  Starting in mid-December, I joined Cokesbury, a publishing and distribution division of the United Methodist Publishing House, as the field representative for the Mobile, AL area. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm sorry, senor.

Every time I see a Hispanic person now, I want to say, "I'm sorry about Alabama's new immigration law.  I don't hate you.  I don't think that you're responsible for all of the crime in our state.  I don't think you came here to steal my job. I'm sorry that our legislature passed and our governor signed into law a bill that gives you every reason to think these things."

I love that I'm a Southerner and a native of Alabama.  I love sweet iced tea and fresh Gulf shrimp.  I love long, warm summers and short, mild winters.  I love words like "y'all" and phrases like "fixin' to".  But right now I'm ashamed to be from Alabama because of this new immigration law.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rest in peace, little buddy

Rags     1999-2011
I'm gonna miss this dog. Julia and I cried like a babies on Thursday when we had to have him put down.  His illness had progressed to the point where we knew he was suffering and it was time to end it.

He was my Christmas present in 1999   . . . or at least "permission to get a dog" was my Christmas present.  In early 2000, I started looking in the local animal shelters for a dog.  Not just any dog, mind you.  I was looking for just the right dog.  I found him at the Baldwin County Animal Shelter just off of Hwy 32 in Summerdale.  I unlatched the gate on the run he was in, stepped inside and sat down on the floor.  This year-old, long-legged, rough-coat Parson Jack Russell Terrier got up from his bed at the end of the run, ambled over to me, climbed up in my lap and lay down. Done deal.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"You'll know when it's time"

"You'll know when it's time," our vet told told us.  One of our dogs, Rags, is dying and the last couple of months we've done everything we can do to keep him comfortable and monitor his condition to ensure that he's not in pain.  "How will we know when it's time to put him down?", we wondered.  She was right  . . . it was clear to me less than an hour ago that it was time.  I'll spare you the gory details but his systems seem to be failing all at once.  I had an idea this morning that it was looking grim but a little after noon, it was clear that the time is now.  I called the vet and she can see us in a couple of hours. 

I'll miss him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No regrets . . . part 2

In the previous post, I wrote a bit about living a life with no regrets vs living a life full of regrets.  Although I didn't have any misconception that I had thoroughly explored this issue, I had said what I thought and intended to move on.    Apparantly the discussion was not over in my house.  I was sitting in the den recently and Rags (pictured above) was lying on the sofa on his back, as he's prone to do these days.  He looked over at me and said,  "I have some regrets."

OK, maybe he didn't say it out loud but after more than 12 years together, Rags and I have learned to communicate on another level. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No regrets . . . part 1

Most conversations that I have with with my 90 year old mother are just a repeat of the previous one.  Not much new happens in her life these days so she just talks about the same things every time.  Every once in a while, however, she throws me a curve ball and says something new.

That happened just recently when she said, "I have no regrets.  If I had my life to live over I wouldn't change anything.  OK, there's one thing  . . . I wouldn't have let your father have his way with what we called your older sister.  I chose the name Susan and he chose the name Gail but he wanted to call her Gail and I relented.  I shouldn't have done that." 

Wow! A life with no regrets (except one)?  Is that even possible?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The cost of war

Photo credit:  Aaron Thompson

I came across this picture tonight when I was reading a blog that focuses on telling feel-good stories of returning soldiers.  Sandwiched in between all the heart-warming videos of surprise reunions was this photo reminding us that there is a very real cost to war and that the homecoming of every soldier is not always happy one.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Art in unexpected places

I appreciate art most when I find it in unexpected places. I did just that  recently when I spotted it in the form of a quilt pattern painted on the side on this barn on winding mountain road near Fontana Lake in western North Carolina.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I surrender

I surrender.  The fleas that I wrote about in an earlier post here have gotten the best of me.  I returned to my mom's house today to find that they were alive and well in her living room despite all my efforts to eradicate them over the past couple of months and especially last week.  When I brought my mom back home last Thursday, I  placed a pan of soapy water under a goose-neck lamp on the floor of her living room (the site of the heaviest infestation)  to attract any remaining fleas and assess the effectiveness of my efforts and today there were 40-50 fleas in the pan.